I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together

Wednesday 23 April 2008

There can be no writing without the creation of a persona.
In order to write intimately ... one has to invent an I.
~ Helen Garner

That statement by Helen Garner (one of my heroes, whose personal essay writing ventures her bravely forth into morgues and gun shows and her own heart) would have made me balk several years ago. I would have hated the thought that the me writing was any steps removed at all from the me whose body and soul and spirit I have gotten around in for the past 37 years. That would have felt, to my rather-more-fundamentalist mind, that somehow this creation of "I"s and personalities and identities was somehow fake, unrealistic.

It doesn't worry me so much these days, being so much more the good postmodern girl now and knowing that reality is a much more fluid thing. And anyway, I think I understand from experience the concept now I have a blog all my own, and spread my guts abroad on it with great regularity. If I felt like the me exposing my ugly innards was purely me without respite, with no buffer zone at all between me and thee, I would have spontaneously combusted sometime back in May when I first started this whole blogging business.

Of course, we are constructing outward identities all the time. It doesn't mean that we are false within these identities, but there is no way to fit all of ourselves into our projections at any one time (we will probably need extra dimensions and more God gentlenesses and lovings and healings and tricks and shenanigans to do that sort of thing).

The me here, while truthful and real, and in many ways so very, very open and horribly vulnerable, will never be and can never be the real and true and total me. Wherever I am, I am never displaying the full me. What a sadness that is sometimes. Lovers feel it the most, this urge and desire to fling themselves into each other, to fuse together, but we are all to varying degrees yearning to know and be known. It's one of the reasons why living in the urban 21st century West is so disheartening. Community - and perhaps our identities cannot be forged alone anyway - is the way we are made. But even longtime married couples celebrating their 75th together in the nursing home fall far short of 'knowing' each other in the way that they yearn to. Fusion occurs ultimately in God. How strange to think that one day we shall know God in that intimacy, and shall be known even as we are known now - and it will not be a frightening experience but an amazing one. People take drugs to get to that state. One day we shall be there as a matter of everyday drudgery (that word, I imagine, shall fall into disuse, unless we are ruminating about the past).

Having just said that being so open about myself on here is only possible because it is an "I" persona - as paradoxical as that is seeing the I is me but is still a projection - I am sorely tempted to delete the post below this one. A bit of self-hatred indulgence is probably the times when I feel most raw. I don't feel comfortable at all indulging in those kinds of things (which is probably an indication that I probably should be indulging them somewhat) but having a post about such a thing sitting there feels terribly vulnerablefying. Perhaps I shall delete it. Perhaps I won't.

I have climbed off the self-hatred wagon today. Yesterday was an especially large whack of the stick, and really, the world looks so much more like a pile of poos through the harsh staccato glare of the self-hatred lens. But sometimes there's nothing for it but to immerse yourself, swim around in it, get it in your eyes and up your nose. I've lived with it in varying degrees for the past 18 months. Leaving a marriage will tend to smack you across the face with the self-hatred stick, and when there's a bit of it flying around inside you anyway, it's like flies to flypaper.

The interesting thing about bouncing up and down on that particular elevator so it threatens to plummet me to the ground is that ... well, it's really boring, even with the threat of plummet. There is enough excitement and danger in life without indulging in it through my shadow side. There is not enough to hold me in that self-hatred room for long anymore, certain rooms of my soul having been aired and dusted somewhat, those rooms experiencing the headiness of joy and gentle April morning sunlight so that I don't want to live like a limpet with the self-hatred indulgence anymore. So much of the last 10 years have forced me into a small hole of unlife that the last thing I really want to do is chuck myself into a mood that makes the gilt edges look tarnished no matter how much sun is shining on them.


  1. Sue, give us everything you've got and nothing that you're not. Living out of that unique person you happen to be at this very moment is about walking in reality. I'm certain it will not be exactly who you are tomorrow because of the on-going transforming work of the One you are walking with.

    I'm glad to see you made it through Yesterday and I am certain Papa was working within what you offered Yesterday to accomplish something in the realm of freedom that might not yet be visable to you.

  2. Kent - you are mixing your musical metaphors here with The Beatles and U2 :)

    Thank you for this. Yeah, got through Yesterday. And yes, I agree, I think yesterday had redemption flowing through it - I just can't see it at all :)

  3. The picture you chose says a lot.

    People are afraid aren't we? Afraid of intimacy and being known too much...as desperately as we want it. Hard stuff.

  4. Good post sue.

    When are bloody christians going to stop quoting u2. When bono was wearing his Mcfisto "persona" christians hated him:) No offense Kent

  5. Jennifer - yes, we are afraid. I think that's the most terrifying thing of all, really.

    Monk - Thanks, dude. (Gee, come on here and diss my blog buds ;) Don't mind him, Kent. He's South Australian convict stock).

  6. Hey, it takes more than that for me to feel dissed :) No offense taken. Anyway, my head is full of "go to" lines from artists of all kinds. Artists just have a way of saying profound things with few words and Bono spoke many of them while he was dressed up like the devil.

  7. Just joshing ya, Monk :)

    That whole Macphisto thing was before I was a Christian, and I guess I just didn't *get* a lot of what Bono was saying and informed by back then (and I was kinda distracted by those skin-tight leather pants :)

    "Go to" lines. That's an interesting way of looking at it, Kentster. Did you know indigenous Australian cultures in the past mapped their world not on paper with a pen and measuring devices, but by stories? Songlines, they're called, that explain the terrain of the land through story. Wonderful stuff.


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